Biffle and Kenseth place top-5 in Pepsi 500
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 13th) – "We dug ourselves a bigger hole, but we just didn't have the speed all night and battled poor track position. We got it decent there at the end. If it would have been a 600-mile race, maybe we could have picked up a few more spots, but we were just adjusting it seemed like every run and just didn't have the speed. I guess we're in the same position at Richmond as we were in now, we've just got to outrun everybody else." DID YOU DO THE BEST YOU COULD? "Definitely. They can tell me where the 07 is at and can tell me where everybody is at, but the bottom line is you're driving as hard as you can doing all you can do to put yourself in position to pick up spots. Certainly we didn't want to take any unnecessary risks, but I drove as hard as I could." WHAT ABOUT YOUR RACE? "We're in the same position we were headed into California. We're forced to outrun everybody else on the race track. We've just got to have more speed and we've just got to beat them on the race track. We can't count on their misfortune for our benefit, we've just got to make sure we're in the top two or three next week." HOW CAN YOU GET HELP FROM YOUR TEAMMATES? "Everybody is racing for a win and certainly we can get a little help on Friday and Saturday exchanging some information and passing around some notes, but the bottom line is we're here because of the No. 6 and the AAA team and not because of everybody else. When it comes time to the last 10 or 15 laps we'll see what we can do, but the bottom line is this is our fight and we've got to do it the best we can." THOSE FIVE BONUS POINTS COULD BE HUGE. WHOSE CALL WAS IT? "That was Jimmy's and that was an excellent decision." YOU'RE ONLY 17 POINTS OUT. "That's better than 20 or 25, but not as good as 10 or 5, so we've just got to go and do what we've been doing. We've got to have more speed. We didn't have the fastest car on the race track today. Our AAA team never gave up. We kept working on it, but the bottom line is we've got to qualify good, race good, and not have any trouble next week to make the chase." DO YOU HAVE SATISFACTION FOR DRIVING SO WELL OR DISAPPOINTMENT FOR NOT FINISHING IN THE TOP 10? "It's not a, I mean just an outright, disappointing, horrible race. Certainly we always put in a lot of effort whether we finish 42nd or we win. I tried as hard as I could every lap of the race – to go as fast as I can without tearing up my race car and that's all we can do. Whether we make the chase or not, or win the championship or finish 15th in points, we're gonna try as hard as we can every week and that's the bottom line. Whatever we get out of it, we'll learn and move on from there."
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) – "The 48 was phenomenal. We see that happen every once in a while, a guy gets it set up right, gets the car running good and we saw it last night in the Nationwide race and tonight in the Sprint Cup race. My guys, what a phenomenal job. I feel bad. I let them down. They were the fastest guys on pit road tonight and I've never had that before in my life. It feels pretty good to beat everybody off of pit road time and time again. It wasn't just one time. I wish we could have got the 3M Ford Fusion car in Victory Lane. The Ford engines ran really good tonight. He wasn't beating me on engine, that's for sure. He just beat me around the corner just a little bit, but I'm pretty excited." YOU'VE CLINCHED A CHASE SPOT. "Yeah, we're so glad to be in the chase. That's so exciting for us as a team. To come back. We missed it in '06 and '07 and to come back and get in in '08, we're pretty excited."
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 R&L Carriers/DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 5th) – "We ran pretty good. It's just that these things are pretty frustrating. You can't ever really go anywhere. Those top bunch of cars start there and they run there all day. It's just hard to do anything with these cars, so it gets a little frustrating, but we had a great day on pit road. We were able to pass some cars and we got a good finish." A GOOD POINTS NIGHT. "I don't even know where we're at, but, obviously, we're probably in better shape than we were coming in, but until you're locked in anything can happen." WHAT ABOUT THE 48 TONIGHT? "They're awesome. They always are, but you see a lot of races these days like that where a guy will start up front and if they've got a really fast car, they'll just stay there. It's hard to adjust these things better and it's hard to adjust them bad. When you're right on like that and you get out in front in that clean air, it seemed like he was gone. It seemed like Greg could run with him, but that was about it."
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 6th) – IT'S NOT THREE STRAIGHT, BUT A GOOD FINISH. "We ran alright. It's great to be disappointed as hell with sixth place. That's wonderful, but we really wanted three in a row. Buit we can go win the next three in a row, too. Sixth place is definitely not a win, but it's not running terrible." WHAT WAS THE STORY FOR YOU TONIGHT? "I think when the track changed, we weren't quite on top of how our car was gonna handle in the dark. Sometimes you hit it and sometimes you miss it. We just missed it tonight."
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion (Finished 32nd) – "I've finished my first 500 mile race and it was definitely a long race out there. We raced well out there and that's all you can ask for. We improved so much from start to finish. It began to tighten up quite a lot as the sun went down but that was expected. We came a long way over the course of the three days here and I think we've got a clear direction moving forward. There were some changes and decisions we made that really got it going out there and I'm pleased for the entire Wood Brothers team. I was out there passing guys like Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, those sort of Chase drivers in the second half of the race. We were a lap down in the second half of the race but our car speed really gave me confidence. I had a touch with the wall through (Turns) Three and Four there towards the end but it wasn't too bad. It dropped us back down the order and in the end if probably cost us a bunch of positions. But the pace was there and we past a lot of cars back and that's pleasing. It's great to finish one of these Cup deals on this sort of big, fast track. The confidence I gained and the things we learned are really invaluable moving forward."
GREG BIFFLE PRESS CONFERENCE – "It was a great night for us. I mean, this is the best night we've had, probably I'd have to say all season beside Darlington as far as car-wise goes. The car was really, really good. It drove excellent. The pit stops, man, I don't even know what to say. We beat everybody out everytime. I've never had that happen before. They've been working on the pit crew and shifting guys around and it was pretty spectacular tonight. I hope that we can continue that in the chase, but I'm just real happy to get myself a spot in the chase this year, but the 48 was just a little bit faster than we were. I should have moved up top earlier and tried to perfect that line a little bit better. I don't usually run that line, but I went up there at the end of the race and started running him down and then almost crashed coming off turn two, so I had to go back to the bottom and got greedy and tried it again and almost made another mistake. So I just decided to get back to the bottom and finish out the night, but I wish we could have been a little bit faster. He was beating me in three and four mostly. I think everybody was beating me down there just a little bit."
HOW FAR HAS THIS TEAM COME SINCE DARLINGTON? "They've done a tremendous job. We've gotten way better as/ an organization and as a team – the 16 has. Thanks to Robbie Reiser. They made a commitment at the beginning of the year to shift some guys around – the teams that were gonna be in the chase and put the best teams together that we can and that's what they've done and it made an unbelievable difference. Man, I couldn't even imagine being at some place like Richmond or Martinsville or some place like that beating one or two cars out each time you pit, and you pit 12-15 times, how that could be, so I'm real excited about it."
WAS THERE FRUSTRATION IN NOT BEING ABLE TO CATCH THE 48 OR ARE YOU TOO HAPPY WITH THE TEAM'S PROGRESS? "It's frustrating no matter who or when you get beat. On the inside we're so competitive and we want to win, and my guys had done such a great job on pit road, it was kind of a little bit of extra adrenaline. I drove as hard as I've driven in a long time. I was just on the edge and I was running him down. I got within probably 10 car lengths of him and was catching him two-tenths a lap, but he would get better as the run went anyway. I just thought maybe if I got close enough maybe I could make him start thinking about what's behind him and he was because he went to the top and I caught him a bunch, and then he went back to the bottom, which he wasn't as good at on the long runs, so he was protecting his spot and that's what I needed him to do – switch up what he was trying to do. I hadn't run up top down there and I did the one lap and I got a great run and I was right in the right spot. The car gets in those grooves and it'll jerk the front end or it's kind of sliding the nose and then it turns and it gets loose and then you've got to come out of the gas, but I got a perfect run off the corner and caught him a bunch, but the next time I didn't have that top perfected. It makes me frustrated that I didn't go up there earlier in the race when it didn't matter and work on where to run so that maybe I could have put some more pressure on him, but he was beating me by a car or two every time. I could gain three here, then lose two, gain three and lose two, so I didn't know that I was gonna be able to do anything when I got there."